Brand Build Guide by Samxe
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Introduction and thoughts.
This is my first guide on Mobafire that I've written and why I decided to start making guides here was because I felt like I could provide more of my experience of League of Legends to you and provide more information and tips about champions than I think some of the guides here hasn't written about.
Before I'm getting any further, I just want to tell you one thing. I'm not a high ELO player, even though I have some experiences in ranked play and I've played League of Legends for quite a while now. Everything written in this guide is in my opinion how you should play, and I'd appreciate feedback on what you think, if you have any complaints or just disagree with me.
About the champion Brand
Brand is a very strong AP carry, maybe even one of the strongest right now. The reason for this is because of the CC and huge burst that Brand has. He is very good against other mages when it comes to laning phase due to his poke with Pillar of Flame, and in teamfights he can destroy a whole team with squishes because of his ulti, jumping from squishy to squishy. He can even carry games if played well.
However, Brand can be countered like every champion, so don't expect to be god-like just because you have been it in one setup. It all depends on your own team and the other team composition. If you have a team full of squishes, you might have a hard time surviving with Brand while still dealing tons of damage. However, if your team has the right composition and the other team has a bad composition, it can be the exact opposite. In arranged ranked plays you can form your own team, but in solo queue it might happen that your setup isn't the best. I will write more about this later on in this guide.
Please note that this guide isn't quite finished yet, but I'm trying to work on finishing it as fast as I can.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Greater Mark of Insight is in my opinion the best marks for mages and AP carries. It gives you more damage with your spells and does also scale better in late game than flat AP marks. To summarize this; these marks will help you do more damage early game, while they still provide reduced magic resistance during late game, which has much more influence than just a few AP, where it's almost unnoticeable.
Greater Seal of Replenishment - Greater Seal of Replenishement is almost crucial for an AP carry and the laning phase, since you'll most likely go out of mana without your Doran's at the beginning. These runes provides you that mana that is required to sustain in lane while still winning it against your opponent, i. e being able to harass him and last hit creeps with your abilities without getting out of mana all the time. Considering there's not guaranteed that you will get a blue buff from your jungler, this might help you provide some mana.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power - Greater Seal of Potency is good because of the extra damage you'll get from it. This makes you stronger and your abilities will definately hurt in the beginning, putting pressure on your opponent. Runes scale best in early game in order to win and dominate the lane - and winning your lane gives you more chance of winning the whole game. You could go with other glyphs, though, but from my own experience I find these the best to play with in solo queue.
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration - You could go with these glyphs as well, or even combine both of them. This gives you magic penetration instead of flat AP, which shreds your opponent's magic resistance and provides you technically true damage. There's not a big difference between the flat AP and the magic resistance runes, though. Both of them are excellent choices and provides you the same thing - early game dominavence, and might even have influence later on in the game when your opponents are stacking magic resistance.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction - Greater Glyph of Celerity is special in the way that they provide CDR and not more damage, which scales mostly in late game. If you think you'll be big importance later on in the game, you could go these, but keep in mind that you will lose the early game dominance with these ones. Of course you will be able to cast more spells in laning spells and will decrease your CD, but I just don't find it that useful considering there's some times you just can't spam your spells, for example without blue buff.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Greater Quintessence of Potency is one of the best choices in my opinion you can get as an mid-laning AP carry. These runes just give you so much of that extra damage boost in early game, which will help you win against your opponent. Three of these will give you 15 AP, which is a lot early game. And again, winning lane will give you a greater chance of winning and carrying the game.
Greater Quintessence of Health - Greater Quintessence of Fortitude will provide you more HP and more bulk in your laning phase. I'd say you should go these if the other team's jungler is strong and you know that you're going to face a mid-laner that you can't do any offence against. Keep in mind that you will lose your AP and lane dominance if you choose these, but will most likely have a safer laning phase. I wouldn't recommend this choice when playing in solo queue and having limited runes, since most of the times you'll need the extra AP from the Greater Quintessence of Ability Power.
I go 9/0/21 - in my opinion the best masteries for an AP carry. With the offence, you mostly get benifits from the AP per level, CDR and the magic penetration. I'd say the magic penetration,
is the best thing in this tree considering it's 15%. That is actually quite a lot for being a single mastery. The crit is almost useless considering you're barely using auto-attacks, but sometimes it helps with the last hitting of minions or poking your opponent in lane. The reason why you're not going further into the offensive mastery tree is because you'll barely get any benifits from there compared to what you can get from utility.
Utility is very benifital for AP champions since it gives you so many stats that you need, and everyone is more or less good. It does for instance provide you with shorter CD on your Flash spel, which is very important to avoid ganks, chase etc. It also gives you longer duration from the neutral buffs, and that makes you stay in lane longer, harass your opponent even more, getting for minion kills etc. It also provides you CDR, and that is another reason why you don't need the CDR runes as much as AP.
I think maxing Good Hands instead of Perseverence is much better, considering you barely get any mana at all. If you calculate it, you can see that the mana you get does barely have any influence in your lane whatsoever, while reducing the time spent dead might turn the game around in teamfights, or making you getting back to lane faster which could prevent your laner from pushing the turret.
In my opinion, Defense isn't worth putting any points in considering there are much better options in the Offense/Utility tree, and much of the things there isn't too benifital for you. If you'd put points in the defense, you'd either lose your 15% magic penetration or 5% CDR, which is important for Brand.
Before I explain what items that are good building as Brand, I just want to point out that there are different ways of building him depending on the team. I don't think you should use my build above all the time, but from my own experience this is the best overall build to go. In this section I will add so called situational items and also explain when you are supposed to use them.
In most cases I start out with Boots of Speed] and three health potions. The reason why I go this and not a [[Doran's Ring is because it gives you so much benifits. It makes you avoid skill shots easier, get away from ganks by the enemy team's jungler, landing your skills easier and giving you more sustain than a Doran's. Yes, you might be a little bit more squishy and run out of mana faster, but that's where the mana regen runes come in. And keep in mind that three Health Potions give you 600 HP in total, which is a lot more than you get from a Doran's. The only thing you have to do when you're going boots is to not spend away your mana too much - conserve it!
Then later on I usually go 2-3 Doran's Ring, depending on how hard the lane opponent is. If it seems like you're going to win the lane, just stick with two Doran's and start building Sorcerer's Shoes. If you're having problem in lane and need more tankiness, buy another Doran's Ring. This is also good when you're about to lose your lane to get your stats boosted quickly. These three Doran's will give you a lot of mana regen, HP and AP, which will make you win your lane easier.
You could start building a Catalyst the Protecter after the boots and then build into a Rod of Ages for a lot of sustainability, but only do this if you know if you can stay in your lane for long. What I've noticed is that you're getting stuck with your Catalyst and Blasting Wand in teamfights and don't deal that much damage, in case someone in your team has lost a turret, and that's why I find Doran's Ring better to buy in most of the cases.
Afterwards I build into Sorcerer's Shoes. These will provide you a lot of magic penetration and also more mobility, which will help you even more succeed with the things that you do with the normal boots. Thereafter you are trying to get your most important core item - Rabandon's Deathcap. Depending on your farm you can either buy a Blasting Wandor a Needlessly Large Rod. With this item your damage will be very high and you will most likely by able to get some kills.
I usually start building a Void Staff after my Rabadon's. This item will provide you even more magic penetration and also a good chunk of AP. You will be best at this stage - and you'll most likely get these items finished in mid game. The faster you get them, the stronger you'll be in the teamfights.
I'd say these are the core items for Brand. After the Void Staff I build Rylai's Crystal Scepter for more tankiness and AP. If you don't get this items, you will have a hard time surviving in teamfights. It also gives you a bonus by providing you a slow, making it easier to land your combos.
After this I usually build a Zhonya's Hourglass] and Banshee's Veil as defensive items. You could go Banshee's Veil earlier than this, but it really depends on how devastating your AP opponents are. The reason why I build Zhonya's Hourglass is because it gives you armor and AP, but also making you become invurnerable for a short amount of time. This is really good if you see that the other team is focusing you or if you end up in a bad position, or even if you have all your abilities on CD and having a hard time surviving. The reason why I choose Banshee's Veil is because it gives you more HP, mana and magic resistance, but the most important effect with this is that it gives you a shield every 45 seconds which will absorb one spell. It is very useful, since it prevents you from being bursted down or getting caught by a CC, for example Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab].
I usually sell my Doran's when it feels that my inventory is full and when I need to continue my build for the core items.
To be short and summarize this: